a pre-teen roll their eyes,
a teenager lock themselves in their room for months on end,
and a young adult grit their teeth and bite their tongue. I'm talking about all those infamous things my mother said to me, that I then repeated to my children, all the while kicking myself and exclaiming "oh no, I've become my mother!"
Why don't we compare lists and see what we have in common.
- If you don't stop making that face it's going to freeze and you'll look that way forever - whether it be sticking out your tongue, crossing your eyes, or mimicking an ape I'm sure you get the picture. Ironically I actually see some truth in this one because for the life of me there is no way to get me to pose for a photo without my face contorting into one of those faces.
- If it were a snake it would have bitten you - as in, it's right there in front of your face, can't you see it? I always wondered about this one because believe me if there was a snake right in front of my face I would see it. But since "it" is NOT a snake it's entirely feasible that "it" must be invisible, at least for girls. The guys though are another whole story. Everyone knows guys JUST.DON'T.LOOK. Of course why should they when it's much easier to call for help and have someone else do the dirty work?
- Stop standing there with the refrigerator door open, you're letting all the cold air out - I have to admit that as an adult I frequently defy this command (imagine that, Sherri acting in defiance!) More often than not I open the refrigerator door to get a drink and leave it open as I get my glass out, fill it with ice, pour the drink, and finally close the door after returning the tea pitcher, milk jug, etc to the 'fridge. I also leave the freezer door open while filling ice trays and and have been known to stand staring inside the freezer for 5-10 minutes willing something to jump out and yell "cook me for dinner". So far, every time I've gone back to the refrigerator it is still full of cold air, it's never once been empty. Excuse me now while I go knock on a piece of wood because I'm pretty sure that I've just jinxed myself.
- on a similar note, Were you born in a barn? Close the door - well that's a ridiculous statement because you were there when I was born and it certainly wasn't in a barn. However I think it's more effective than a simple "shut the door" because it confuses the city kids who don't know what a barn is, much less why you don't want to leave it's door open.
- This is going to hurt me a lot more than it's going to hurt you - and how, pray tell, do you know that? Physically I'm calling bull on this statement (coming from the child who had to go out and pick her own switches), and mentally, well let's just say until you have children of your own there's no way this statement can be comprehended. Meanwhile you might want to consider that corporal punishment is so politically incorrect these days that if you're going to utter these words you better make sure you're not standing in line at Walmart lest you want to deal with a visit from DFACS.
- Clean up your room, what do you have, potatoes growing under your bed? - everyone knows that potatoes don't come from under your bed, they come from Kroger! But if they did, think how you could save on the grocery bill. And besides why should I clean my room when it's only going to be messed back up tomorrow? Raise your hand if, as the housewife/househusband, you've thought the exact same thing you did decades ago. Housework is over-rated in my book, regardless of your age.
- You'll thank me for this some day - hmmm, yeah, right. I will say there have been instances where I could say "Mom, you were right" but then, I might have to admit that she was right and I was wrong and well, let's not go there, ok?
- Because I said so, that's why - no other statement has been uttered that more infuriates a child AND delights a parent. We'll just leave it at, that once you've made it to parenthood, you've earned the right to NOT give a reason - you heard it enough growing up now it's your turn, right? See the vicious cycle?
- I have eyes in the back of my head, I see and know everything - it took my boys years to understand the concept of a rear-view mirror. Once they got it, I just left the eye part out and stuck with "I know everything." Even today they still believe that's true. Ian and Andrew you can STOP your eye rolling RIGHT NOW!
- and finally, I brought you into this world and I can certainly take you out of it! - honestly I don't think my mother ever used this expression but she probably thought it. I, on the other hand, used it frequently. Even though they're both out of their teens and tower over me I still occasionally remind them ... and they smile and pat me on the head. It's tough being the short one in the family!
There you have it - my list of things that Mama's say - handed down from one generation to the other. Thanks mom!
Me and mother, 1994. Notice the big glasses, dark hair, and skinny waist (flapping my gums as usual though). Neither one of us likes having our picture taken which is why I'm having to use such an old photo. Just another trait we share. I guess I need to suck it up and let someone take a shot of us the next time we're together. And then we can sit and complain about how bad we look.